Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-Letter Oct. 2, 2003

FALL FOR THE BEST OF BARBADOS, which launched Oct. 1, is designed "to gain more market share" before the peak travel season, according to Bill Silvermintz, vice president of marketing, the Americas, for the Barbados Tourism Authority. Perks include two free nights and daily breakfasts on a seven-night stay at hotels that serve meals; three free nights out of seven at hotels without meal service; and one free night out of five and two free nights out of seven at all-inclusive properties. Up to 25 hotels are participating in the package as are up to 20 restaurants that offer a 50% discount on the second meal when the first meal is fully paid. Ground attractions have discounts up to 30%. Packages must be booked through participating tour operators by Nov. 30 for stays through Dec. 20. The program "will help give us a strong lead-in to the winter season which, for the first time, will feature new nonstop service on Continental from Newark four times a week starting Dec. 18," Silvermintz said. He described the fall program as "high value" and one that "will create a buzz in the marketplace." For details, visit www.barbados.org.

TARZAN AND JANE wannabes can swing through Jamaica's treetops this winter, thanks to a new "canopy tour" program offered by Chukka Cove Adventure Tours, based near Ocho Rios, and Chukka Blue Adventure Tours, headquartered in the Montego Bay area. The canopy tours, priced from $65 to $75 per person, feature an intricate harness system of pulleys on horizontal traverse cables, supervised by experienced guides, which lets participants swing up to 50 yards between platforms high in the trees at leaf level. Tours cost between $65 and $75 per person, can be purchased at hotel tour desks and are the latest addition to the firms' adventure programs. Other adventure plans include rubber tubing down a jungle river, all-terrain vehicle safari rides on the grounds of Rose Hall Great House near Montego Bay, riding horses into the sea, mountain bike treks and country bus tours, complete with reggae and dreadlocks. For details, visit Chukka Cove Adventure Tours at www.chukkacove.com and Chukka Blue Adventure Tours at www.chukkablue.com.

THE 39TH ANNUAL MS. TRAVEL AGENT 2004 PAGEANT will be held Dec. 6 at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay. Sponsors are Sandals Resorts, Air Jamaica and American/Wolfe International Hotel Representatives. Six finalists will compete; contestants must be currently employed by a travel agency in a sales capacity for at least one year. Entry forms are available from A/WIHR, 1890 Palmer Ave., Larchmont, N.Y. 10538 or by calling (800) 223-5695. Deadline for submitting completed forms and with two photos is Nov. 1.

AIR BYTES
• Cayman Airways will launch nonstop twice-weekly service between Chicago O'Hare and Grand Cayman Dec. 17 through Oct. 30, 2004. The flights will operate Wednesdays and Sundays.
• Aruba bound: US Airways will launch a second Saturday flight from Charlotte, N.C. Feb. 14; United will have Saturday service from Washington Dec. 20 to April 17; and Sun Country will operate a Saturday charter from Minneapolis from Jan. 24 to April 10.
• US Airways will offer Saturday nonstop flights from Charlotte to La Romana, Dominican Republic, Dec. 13.

PENCIL IT IN
• 2003 Sunfish World Championships, Oct. 10 to 19, Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, St. Maarten.
• ScubaBowl, Oct. 13 to 15, Grand Cayman. This is designed for dive trade professionals to showcase the destination's dive opportunities.
• 12th Annual Dry Creek Vineyard Women's Sailing Week, Oct. 25 to Nov. 1, Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands.
• Sixth Annual World Creole Music Festival, Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, Roseau, Dominica.
• Tourism Week, Nov. 2 to 8, Anguilla. The theme is "25 Years of Tourism: Still Celebrating the Best of Anguilla."
• Cayman Aqua Vows, Nov. 15, Grand Cayman. Here is a dual opportunity to get married underwater and participate in an attempt to set a new world record for underwater weddings. Visit www.caymanislands.ky/aqua_vow/ for details.

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